The three stages of GOP derangement: 1. label cartels as terrorist organizations, 2. bomb Mexico, 3. sent Troops to Mexico

by Alex Gonzalez

Last night, in the first Republican debate, nearly every GOP candidate, when asked, endorsed the idea of sending military troops to the southern border to combat the fentanyl issue. However, law enforcement officials have consistently discovered that nearly all the fentanyl entering the U.S. from Mexico is smuggled in trucks and cars at legal entry points by US citizens. However, any sincere US effort to tackle the cartels should commence with addressing the gun trafficking problem and the demand for drugs in the U.S.

GOP candidates and certain members of Congress, like Chip Roy of Texas, have gone through three stages of derangement: 1. labeling cartels as terrorist organizations, 2. proposing to bomb Mexico, and 3. suggesting the deployment of troops to Mexico, even without Mexico’s consent.

let’s explore one-by-one

  1. If Mexico were labeled as a “terrorist” organization, this would potentially implicate all Americans involved in drug smuggling into the US, those responsible for drug distribution in US cities and suburbs, as well as individuals sending guns and funds to cartels. They could face charges for supporting terrorist groups.
  2. Initiating unilateral military action within the territory of one of our most significant neighbors, our primary trade partner, and a nation crucial to regional security is impractical. Additionally, considering the sizable population of almost 40 million Mexican Americans in the US, the idea of bombing Mexico appears to align with a racially-biased right-wing perspective.
  3. Historically, Mexico has not permitted foreign ‘troops’ to carry weapons within its borders. Mexico maintains a pacifist stance with a relatively weak military, primarily dedicated to managing social unrest and responding to national emergencies. Consequently, the notion that the US could independently deploy troops to Mexico seems unrealistic and mostly serves as rhetoric for those with anti-Mexico sentiments.

    Conversely, those Republicans clamoring for bombing Mexico and deploying troops conveniently overlook the fact that US gun manufacturers are profiting from the smuggling of guns into Mexico. Furthermore, many Republicans are hesitant to address the issue that some individuals in red states are voluntarily consuming fentanyl.

    As David Frum underscores:

         “Huge numbers of the opioid epidemic’s victims are rural and White, and a  broader domestic crackdown might demonize or criminalize many GOP  constituents; threatening Mexico instead spins a tale of “virtuous  middle-Americans beset by alien villains.”


      Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst, Founder of Latino Public Policy Foundation (LPPF), and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to or @AlexGonzTXCA


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